[Photo credit: Facebook]
UPDATE: Thursday, June 22 at 10:35 a.m. EST
And as soon as Kiss frontman Gene Simmons tried to trademark the “rock on” symbol, he's withdrawn his request.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office database has now updated the entry to write “The owner of the trademark application withdrew (e.g. abandoned) the application and the application is no longer active.”
It appears that Simmons withdrew the request on June 20.
ORIGINAL POST: Wednesday, June 14 at 4:15 p.m. EST
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons is looking to trademark a very popular hand gesture. You may know it as the “rock on” symbol or the “devil's horns,” but he wants to make the hand formation his own.
Specifically, Simmons' version of the gesture requires the thumb, index and pinky fingers to extend outward, while the middle and ring fingers remain curled against one's palm, as seen below.
The image above comes from the official application filed with the United States Patent And Trademark Office last Friday. Simmons wishes to seek ownership in the cases of “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.”
The origins of Simmons' use of the gesture go back to November 1974, where it got its first commercial exposure on Kiss' “Hotter Than Hell” tour.
The coveted rockstar may have some issues convincing the trademark examiner however, considering the symbol is not only extremely well-known, but is also the symbol for “I love you” in American Sign Language, and as io9 points out, the exact same alignment that Spiderman has been using for decades to shoot his web.
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It's also widely known that Ronnie James Dio popularized a similar symbol just without the thumb extended, which his grandmother would use to push away the devil. The ancient symbol “sign of the horns,” which dates back to the 5th century B.C., was the first use of the gesture documented by the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha,
Other iconic uses of the gesture turn up in places like the cover of the Beatles' single Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby, where John Lennon can be seen sporting the symbol, and the New York Post also has previously reported that in certain Mediterranean and Latin countries, it's also a symbol “made to a man to imply that his wife is cheating on him.”
No matter which way you perceive the hand gesture, we'll have to wait and see if the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office approves it first. But if Simmons is succesful in his trademarking, the next question is how does it become enforced?
Considering the widespread use of the symbol, this will surely be a topic to revist pending the ruling fom an examiner. Until then, throw your horns up any and everywhere just in case.
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